Conception 2 is the sequel to the first game on the PSP. It is accessible to new players while fans of the original will find the game quite familiar. It was developed by Spike Chunsoft, the creators of the Danganropa. The story focuses on Wake Archus ( you can name him to whatever you like) who grows up in a world where monsters are a constant threat to humanity. When a monster attacks and kills Wake’s mother and sister during his sisters’s wedding, he vows to stop the monster threat once and for all.
Wake later finds out he has the mark of the star god on his hand. He willingly attends a special school called Attera Academy which is dedicated to people who have the mark that he has. Students at Attera Academy are all teenagers as the mark disappears when you reach adulthood. Wake eventually finds out that he is able to take in a large amount of ether into his body that allows him to go into dusk circles which are dungeons and use star energy to assist him. Because of this, he is declared as God’s Gift and he becomes beloved amongst the school and especially with girls.
As he is “Gods gift” Wake can create star children with the highest ranking students in the academy and he enlists them to fight monsters in the dusk circle. (Its possible for any gender to create star children but its mainly male to female) Theres a thing in the game called classmating where you and the ranking female student you bond with can create the star children with a special matryoshka doll. It is possible to star mate with somebody else through the online features of the game. Star maiden moods are an important factor, if you say something friendly then their mood will improve and it will increase your chances of developing a relationship with them. It also plays a factor in making more powerful star children. You can also do tri-mating after a while where you and 2 other maidens can create more powerful star children.
Some dolls provide elemental boosters which enhance the special abilities like fire or water and you can find them while exploring dungeons.You can also sort out which star children to go with with the auto sorting system. Star children can be let go when they have been levelled up or they can move out so they can assist the Fort City community. The higher level the star child, the quicker the community levels up so new places can be accessed. You can send your star kids to dungeons to find treasure or send them to boot camp to train them and increase their levels. You can also receive gifts from your star kids from time to time.
Dusk circles are dungeons based off the 7 deadly sins and each has its own distinct map so no room looks the same. Every chapter you go through, a new one comes up and sub dungeons as well appear too so you can also explore them. You can escape dungeons anytime at checkpoints.
The characters were not memorable and all seem familiar and old. Alec was not a compelling rival and in fact he was really nothing more than a jealous and spiteful idiot. He came off as more of a carbon copy of Riku from Kingdom Hearts. Fanservice and lewd jokes are plentiful and so cheesy its hilarious. The dialogue was really bad and the voice acting felt unnatural. The dialogue choices play out different emotions, you have chivalrous and cocky and it all goes depending on the mood.
You approach enemies in combat or the enemies approach you. The combat is easy but grindy as you are going to have to keep revisiting dungeon after dungeon just to level up to gain better equipment, star children and more finances. It uses a turn based combat system with you and your party members as you attack. Sometimes, you can use special powerful magic abilities depending on which star maiden you have traveling with you. You can move in different directions and choose which enemy you would like to target. A certain area where a red arrow is pointing in the circle marks the enemy’s weak point where you can inflict massive damage. The amount of turns you have is affected by the ether gauge which allows you to be able get extra hits in combat. The more star children you have the more turns you can get in combat.
There is also a chain attack system with the more hits you deal to enemies, the more xp and money you will receive. The quickest way to fill up chain attacks is by going to high risk danger zones where you are more likely to get hit badly. The 7th burst skill is where you and your female party member does a special attack against an enemy causing critical damage. There is a training facility where you can go through simulations of dungeons to gain extra experience.
You can fast forward the combat anytime you like because of how dreadfully slow it can be even by turn based standards. You can also use auto mode in combat where commands are automatically given out depending on the situation.
You can find treasure and equipment in dungeons. Occasionally you get transmission calls from your friends to help support you in dungeons. The dungeons were all reskins and not that different from one another. There were the occasional traps but not much variations. Enemies were reskins with different variations.
The music score isn’t interesting either as its pretty much typical j-pop jrpg stuff. The graphics were not outstanding and the 3d backgrounds were bland. It looked like PS2 quality graphics which is really strange as the 3DS is capable of handling more powerful graphics. The frame rate felt stiff at certain areas. The art style and anime cutscenes was good.
This game seems a cheap version of Persona and it contains similar concepts to the Shin Megami series like dungeon crawling and religious motifs. The moments where you bond with your classmates are as almost as it is like the confidants’ system in Persona. The combat system is similar to Persona as well with the more you bond with your classmates the better abilities and chances of you being able to survive in combat.
This was average.
It gets 3 stars out of 5.
I could give this series another chance with other related conception media that is out. I found the ideas to be interesting and I am perfectly fine with playing dating visual novels and I respect the fact that the content is going to be lewd and fanservice is rampart. This is only for dating sim and jrpg fans. Go with Shin Megami Tensei instead, especially Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker or Persona 5.